Dear friend of the Jewish people,
Shalom from our headquarters in New York City. It is always a joy to write to you in our Chosen People Ministries newsletter each month. My wife and I just returned from Israel where we had a very encouraging time with our 20+ staff members serving in the Holy Land. It would be impossible to try and communicate to you all that these dedicated servants of the Lord are doing in reaching our Jewish people in Israel. We are beginning to see many young Israelis interested in the Gospel!
One of the most notable changes in Israel is the rise of the French Jewish population. French Jews are now the largest group of Jewish people taking advantage of the Law of Return, immigrating to Israel each year. Israel is a safe haven for Jewish people around the globe who are experiencing antisemitism and persecution, simply because they are Jewish. The arrival of the French Jewish population has been one of the most significant demographic changes within Israel.
Did you know that France has the largest Jewish population in Europe? In fact, after Israel, the United States and the countries of the former Soviet Union, France has the largest Jewish population in the world. The Jewish people in France thrived after the end of World War II, but now the fate of the Jewish people in France is fragile due to the rise of militant Muslims.
To make matters worse, the evangelical church in France is small and struggling, and there are fewer than twelve people dedicated to Jewish ministry there at this current time. My dear brothers and sisters, it is time to pray fervently for the Jewish people of France.
To meet these needs, Chosen People Ministries has initiated a number of new strategies. Along with our direct missionary and publication ministries that have been going on in France since the 1930s, we now have two websites in French that are touching the lives of French Jewish people in many ways.
The first is an Isaiah 53 website where we are offering the book Isaiah 53 Explained in French through Facebook ads, which include the testimonies of French Messianic Jews who are part of the website. These ads are reaching French Jewish people in France, Israel, Montréal and around the globe. Hundreds of French Jewish people have already ordered the book.
We also have initiated an online aliyah helpdesk that allows us to engage with French Jewish people trying to move to Israel. In 2014, 7,500 Jews made aliyah from France, the highest number in 30 years, making France the number one country for Jewish immigration in the world. In 2015 that number was exceeded and it is expected that the 2016 immigration number will be even higher. We are offering these immigrants helpful information, both online and on the ground. Through the relationships that we build we hope to tell them about the Jewish Messiah who loves them and who died and rose so that they might have everlasting life.
Let’s look at some recent events to better understand why so many French Jewish people are leaving France.
The 2006 murder of French Jew Ilan Halimi was a major wake-up call for the Jewish community who no longer felt safe in France.
In 2012, the “Toulouse Massacre” of seven people, including a rabbi and three students at a Jewish day school, reinforced the reality that France had a problem keeping its Jewish community safe.
The January 2015 “Charlie Hebdo” massacres included a kosher supermarket hostage situation and resulted in the death of four Jewish patrons.
Then there was the November 2015 attack that claimed the lives of 130 people. It is widely believed that the main thrust of the terrorist attack on the Bataclan concert venue was organized to hurt the two owners of the place who happened to be Jewish (incidentally they had sold the place a few months prior).
My heart goes out to the French Jewish community. It has been my prayer for many years to be able to reach that very community with the Gospel of Yeshua. Because of the rebirth of antisemitism in Europe and its current exponential growth, French Jews, among other European Jewish communities, are scared and hopeless. But together, we can offer them hope.
As always, we need your continued support to keep our missionaries in the field as they serve the Lord in the United States, Israel, France and in the other 13 nations where you are helping to reach Jewish people with the Gospel.
We deeply appreciate your prayers and loving support.